National Development Banks are vital public policy instruments. When they achieve their full potential, their positive development impact is unparalleled

- Diana Smallridge -
FOUNDER

The Role of National Development Banks

National Development Banks (NDBs) play a critical role within a country’s economic ecosystem. Nearly every country in the world – developing and developed alike – has an NDB with a mandate to address a particular public policy dimension. They sit at the nexus of many of the main economic actors – acting as a hub between government ministries, international agencies, private capital markets, commercial banks, local business and project sponsors.

Their key functions include:

  • Filling market gaps in underserved market segments
  • Mobilising capital and catalysing private finance
  • Providing counter-cyclical finance
  • Encouraging innovation and economic diversification
  • Enhancing financial inclusion
  • Promoting environmental sustainability

Responding to a World of Risk and Uncertainty

National Development Banks around the world face special challenges,requiring them to strike a delicate balance between financial sustainability and meeting their public policy mandate, all while ensuring complementarity with private sources of finance by “crowding in”.

Few NDBs were prepared to deal with the additional burden of a crisis at the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic and many are struggling to respond.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the urgent need for supporting these institutions to calibrate their response. These immediate needs sit atop a list of pre-existing challenges identified by NDB’s including risk management, financial self-sufficiency, governance and human resources.

The Centre of Excellence for National Development Banks

The Centre of Excellence for National Development Banks (CENDB) addresses the urgent need for a global knowledge centre for NDBs. The CENDB will gather and disseminate innovative solutions, best practices and inspiration on how NDBs around the world are responding to their respective mandates.


The CENDB will deliver capacity-building programs covering every aspect of how to run a best-in-class National Development Banks.

The Centre will also serve as a hub for cutting-edge research in the field. Most urgently, the CENDB will develop a centralized online knowledge hub, including a focus on monitoring and reporting on COVID-19 initiatives taken by NDBs around the world, with an emphasis on those in developing countries. It will share best practices, research and resources on its website, in a newsletter and via an ongoing series of webinars and training sessions.

Reimagining Capacity Building for the 21st Century

Training

Ensuring NDBs have the skills, knowledge and training to thrive. Courses cover all NDB capacities including credit appraisal, business origination, risk management, portfolio monitoring and stress-testing, ESMS, development impact measurement, climate finance, and more.

Organizational Development

Disseminating best practise management processes, structures, and procedures within NDBs, including best practises, leadership development, strategic planning and stakeholder relationship management such as the commercal banks, business community, academia and government)

Institutional Development

Promoting the development of governance arrangements that are immunized from political interference and that enable NDBs to function with optimal capacity and relevance.

Partner Views

“National Development Banks like the Development Bank of Nigeria face unique challenges due to the need to balance public policy mandates and financial imperatives. This requires special attention to training, capacity building and knowledge sharing. I am delighted that the Centre of Excellence for National Development Banks will be dedicated to this important and timely mission. The CENDB’s emphasis on practical, cohort-based online learning is particularly welcome. Based on my interactions with the CENDB’s founder, Diana Smallridge, I’m certain this new organization can and will make a profound impact on NDBs around the world.”

Ijeoma D. Ozulumba

Chief Financial Officer, Development Bank of Nigeria

View Programs

“National Development Banks like the Development Bank of Nigeria face unique challenges due to the need to balance public policy mandates and financial imperatives. This requires special attention to training, capacity building and knowledge sharing. I am delighted that the Centre of Excellence for National Development Banks will be dedicated to this important and timely mission. The CENDB’s emphasis on practical, cohort-based online learning is particularly welcome. Based on my interactions with the CENDB’s founder, Diana Smallridge, I’m certain this new organization can and will make a profound impact on NDBs around the world.”

Ijeoma D. Ozulumba

Chief Financial Officer, Development Bank of Nigeria

View Programs

Our Programs

Smart SME Lending

This innovative program brings together NDB professionals to provide practical example-based training on best practices for more effective SME lending.

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Measuring the Development Impact of an NDB

Using their own institution's examples and case studies, program participants will learn leading-edge approaches to monitoring and measuring development impact.

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